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Tribal Christian Is Beheaded, 3 Are Shot Dead in Manipur, India

Tribal Christian Is Beheaded, 3 Are Shot Dead in Manipur, India

India's Supreme Court has called on the government in the northeastern state of Manipur to provide an updated status report on the situation in the region after a tribal Christian was beheaded and three others were shot dead.

On Sunday, a man identified as David Thiek was beheaded in Langza, a tribal village in the district of Churachandpur, home to Kuki-Zo tribes, as reported by First Post.

One resident told the outlet that Thiek was one of several village volunteers who protected the village from looters as other residents fled from danger.

In addition to Thiek's death, three others, identified as 34-year-old Ningombam Ibomcha, 26-year-old Naorem Rajkumar and 44-year-old Haobam Ibocha, were fatally shot in Manipur's Bishnupur district at the border with the hill district of Churachandpur.

The news comes amid an ongoing conflict between the majority Hindu Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi tribes that began on May 3. So far, at least 137 people have been killed in the conflict, The Christian Post reports.

India's Supreme Court is considering two petitions regarding the violence. One petition was filed by Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi and seeks protection for the majority Christian Kuki tribe by the Indian army. The second petition seeks to challenge a High Court directive to add the Meitei community to the Scheduled Tribe list – a list denoting all formally recognized tribes in India.

The next meeting about the Scheduled Tribe list is scheduled for next Monday.

Although Senior Advocate Dr. Colin Gonsalves, representing the Manipur Tribal Forum, noted that the situation in Manipur had worsened, the Solicitor General of India argued that conditions in the region were gradually improving following the deployment of armed forces and the establishment of relief camps.

The violence in Manipur escalated following a High Court ruling calling on the state government to respond to the Meiteis' request for a tribal status, which would provide the majority community economic benefits and quotas in government jobs and education. The conflict has resulted in displaced villagers, arson and rampant violence.

During a recent trip to Manipur, Rahul Gandhi, India's main opposition leader, lamented the state of affairs in the region.

"I came here because I wanted to share the pain of the people of Manipur. It is a horrible tragedy that has taken place," Gandhi, a leader of the left-of-center Congress Party, said, according to NPR.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/FilmColoratStudio

Milton QuintanillaMilton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.